Apple stock leads Dow gainers after Morgan Stanley sees signs of iPhone stabilization in China

Shares of Apple Inc.

AAPL, +1.11%

rallied 1.2% in afternoon trade Thursday, enough to pace the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s

DJIA, +0.01%

gainers, after Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty’s bullish call, citing early signs of iPhone stabilization in China. Huberty reiterted her overweight rating and $197 stock price target, saying she is now “positively biased” on Apple’s fiscal second-quarter ending this month. She said first and most important, despite a Chinese smartphone market that remains weak, Apple gained share of the installed smartphone base in January and February after losing share in December. “Second, February was the first month in half a year that our Asia team didn’t revise iPhone builds lower…, implying the most significant supply chain cuts are likely behind us,” Huberty wrote in a note to clients. She also said data suggests near-term iPhone estimates have “overshot” on the downside and replacement cycles have converged with PCs and are expected to stabilize. The stock has climbed 11.1% over the past three months, while the Nasdaq Composite

COMP, -0.15%

has advanced 10.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +0.01%

has gained 6.6%.

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